To mark International Men’s Day on 19 November, St Austell Leisure Centre is launching its first social walking football taster session from 10-1130am on Monday 20 November.

The event has been arranged in partnership with Cornwall Football Association and Saints Walking Football Club. The Saints will demonstrate how the game is played and newcomers will be invited to have a go themselves.

Male mental well-being is a key theme of this year’s International Men’s Day and physical exercise, in a communal setting, is known to reduce stress and social isolation, whilst improving health and fitness. 

Walking football can be played indoors, the ball is kept below head height and, whilst tackling is allowed, it’s done with no contact. 

“We’re encouraging men to come along to our new taster session and have a go at an activity that’s fun and not too demanding,” said GLL’s Cornwall Community Sports Manager Karen Edmond.

“Instructors are on hand to explain the rules and there’s a chance to get together over a hot drink afterwards.

“Studies have shown walking football helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, improves blood pressure and builds muscle.

“Most important of all, it builds confidence and is enjoyable – so why not give it a try? If our first session is successful, we’re planning to run social walking football as a weekly event. 

“Just turn up to have a go.”

Operating under the Better brand, GLL is a not-for-profit social enterprise that runs nine leisure centres, including St Austell, on behalf of Cornwall Council.